Last week’s WIPpet snippet was short. Of COURSE I’m going to give you something massive this week. I won’t be offended if you skip it. 🙂
This is from chapter… probably three. I’m not too clear on chapter divisions yet. This is extremely rough, please excuse the everything. Set up: things haven’t been going well since the end of Bound (so much for happily ever after, right?). So SPOILER ALERT I guess, if you don’t want to know whether people survive that one.
Still with me? Good. Rowan has convinced Aren to take a walk with her on the beach, saying she wanted to search for treasure. He doubted they’d find any, but went along anyway. He doesn’t get to spend much time alone with her these days.
12 + 6 paragraphs for 12/6 (plus one line so it makes sense)
Rowan seemed to be trying to get her bearings on the beach, running back and forth, looking down, when she suddenly dropped to her knees to rake her fingers through the pebbles. I jogged toward her, holding tightly to the cloth-wrapped item in my pocket. She stood and held her hand out to me. “Told you there was treasure.”
Glass. Two pieces, one green and one brown, the edges smoothed and the surface dulled by the rocks and water. “That’s it? This is what you were looking for?”
“Mm-hmm. I didn’t think you’d come with me if I told you.”
“What, that we were looking for old garbage?” She looked at me expectantly, and I sighed. “No, I still would have come along.” I fell in beside her as she walked closer to the water.
“It’s not old garbage.”
“It’s broken glass that somebody threw away, or that floated off of a shipwreck. It is the very definition of garbage.”
She stopped to pick up a few more pieces, and motioned for me to hold out my hand. “No,” she said. “This is garbage.” Clear glass this time, and new, probably tossed over the cliff recently. I closed my fingers around it, and the point of the triangle bit into my skin. When I opened my hand, blood welled up from a tiny puncture. Rowan frowned. “I wish you wouldn’t do that. I can’t heal it, you know.”
“It’ll go away on its own soon enough.”
She shook her head, and a sudden breeze off of the ocean blew her hair around her head until she caught it and tied it back with the ribbon she kept in her coat. “This, however,” she continued, “is treasure.” Clear glass again, but turned white by its pitted surface. It was perfectly smooth, and aside from its colour was indistinguishable from the round pebbles that littered the shore. “I suppose it was garbage once, but after a while it becomes beautiful. Don’t you see it?”
As she added to her collection, I started to see. No one would ever mistake the glass for gemstones, but they were beautiful in the same way that someone like Rowan thought beach rocks were beautiful, or a mossy forest, or the swirling patterns in driftwood. I didn’t notice those things the way she did, but I was learning. It reminded me of her; if the women I’d known in Luid were diamonds and sapphires, she was the amethyst-coloured glass she handed to me, which seemed to glow in the fading sunlight and became more interesting the longer I looked at it. She was a strange person, but in ways that I liked very much. I thought again of leaving, and felt ill. I didn’t know how to bring it up.
A dull flash of green caught my eye. “What about this one?” I asked.
She turned the glass over in her hands. “Almost there. See how this edge is clear? It probably broke off of something not too long ago, and the ocean has to work on it a bit more. It’s a shame; the colour’s good.”
I sat on a weathered log that had landed above the tide line, and Rowan followed. “You’re leaving, aren’t you?” she asked.
“It’s time,” I said. She was silent for a few moments, then smiled, sadly.
“What, just when things are going so well here?”
I took her hand. It was so small in mine. “I would stay if I thought it would help you, but I think I’m just in the way right now. I’m not doing any good here. I’m tired of being unwanted and useless. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing now, but it’s not this.”
Rowan squeezed my fingers. “It’s not getting any better, is it?”
“Did I ever tell you what Mariana and Arnav said to me at the Grotto?” She shook her head and sat beside me. “They said that it was admirable that I wanted to renounce my past, but that I needed to learn what I was living for. Right now I have nothing but you. I think I could spend the rest of my life living for you, but-”
“…but that’s not fair to either of us. I know.”
Life is hard, kids, stay in school and don’t fall in love too quickly. Quality advice from Auntie Kate, right there. I have a big problem with stories where people fall in love too quickly and then that’s it. I will NOT have codependent characters. *end rant*
And yeah, I know, it’s wordy and needs editing. I’ll get back to it. 😉
Want to join in the WIPpet Wedesday fun? Head on over to our host’s blog (KL Schwengel at My Random Muse), click on the linkie and share the love with the other WIPpeteers, and add your own link to a bit of your work in progress that relates to today’s date in some way (12 lines, 12 words… 12+6 letters, something from chapter or page 12… whatever).
I guess I owe a #ROW80 update, too, especially since I missed Sunday’s check-in. JuNoWriMo is putting the pressure on, but I’m behind. I need a few good days with no distractions to get caught up. 2,000 words a day is just not happening right now. I’ve given up on reading Fallen (see here if you really want to know why) and have started Matched, which I thought sounded very not me, but I’ve enjoyed the first few chapters. Housework is going well, too, even if I refuse to acknowledge that as an official goal.
June 12th, 2013 at 8:22 am
Nice piece, if a bit sad. *sigh* But I do love how you describe what Rowan finds beauty in. When my Hubby and I are splitting wood, I often get scolded *cough* for trying to hoard pieces that I find intriguing. To him, it’s all wood. LOL
June 12th, 2013 at 8:44 am
It IS sad. I hate to do it. But don’t worry, everyone’s still working toward Happily Ever After. 🙂
June 12th, 2013 at 10:27 am
A lovely excerpt. Love the beach combing. But sad, as Kathi said. I don’t blame you for not wanting to go the insta-love or codependent route!
June 12th, 2013 at 10:30 am
Things are going to get kind of emo before they get better… but this is how we become stronger people, right? Right?!
June 12th, 2013 at 10:31 am
“I suppose it was garbage once, but after a while it becomes beautiful. ”
Good point. I wonder if that applies to people, too?
June 12th, 2013 at 10:32 am
Aren had better hope so. 😉
June 12th, 2013 at 10:39 am
This is a scene is both beautiful and melancholic at the same time. I loved the calmness of it and the setting. Your descriptions and the little details you use are just lovely. Those last couple of lines are so sad and made me want to know more.
June 12th, 2013 at 10:59 am
A great excerpt Kate. Kind of intriguing too – why can’t they be together at the moment? Will they ever be together? Lots of unanswered questions. You’ve obviously been working really hard on this. Good stuff. 🙂
June 12th, 2013 at 1:39 pm
“I suppose it was garbage once, but after a while it becomes beautiful.” -Favorite line, right there.
I intensely loathe the love at first sight thing, but we more or less skipped the give it time bit, so moments like these hold a foreign interest for me. 🙂
June 12th, 2013 at 1:39 pm
Love the new avatar, by the way. 😀
June 12th, 2013 at 1:48 pm
Thanks. Charlie wasn’t as happy about it as I was.
June 12th, 2013 at 1:48 pm
I love the complicated nature of this. I don’t mind the instant love, what I hate is when it remains simple and only instant love. Hmmm now it’s making me think about some of my own stuff. I do love the sadness but the hope that remains in this. Well done.
June 12th, 2013 at 2:25 pm
You did a great job with the dialogue. For first draft this is very sophisticated in my opinion. I like the tension, complexity, and sadness backdropped against the beauty around them
June 12th, 2013 at 9:46 pm
Love at first sight… I think if we work with it, it can be powerful. Too often people don’t realize it’s MORE work to write and give people an experience worth believing, not less.
I like how you write this, Kate. So sweetly sad. Love it! I want to cry now…
June 12th, 2013 at 9:56 pm
Oh my goodness, I’m with you on the “don’t fall in love too quickly” thing. My two main characters will be taking it nice and slow. *grins* It’s a whole lot of fun making the audience yearn for two people to get together. I love a piece with good emotion in it. That really helps me connect with the characters. This was an awesome piece of emotion! Quirks are part of what make us who we are. Love that.
June 13th, 2013 at 2:43 am
*sniffle* So sad! But once again your language is beautiful, espeically considering it’s still a first draft. I love the descriptions of the things Rowan finds beautiful; I tend to be that person, too.
June 13th, 2013 at 7:04 am
I love searching for sea glass – it is treasure, I’m totally with Rowan. A poignant scene, you set the tone beautifully!
June 18th, 2013 at 5:46 am
I can’t think of a word I’d like you to change. Nope. Not a single one.
Except that “stay in school”, maybe, since my kids have never been, and don’t seem to be missing it at all…
I married my husband less than 6 months after I met him. We’ll celebrate our 16th anniversary this August.
There have been a lot of very good times. And we’ve had tragedy – the death of an infant son, a serious motorcycle accident, and that time I lost the house payment when money was stretched to the breaking point…
We didn’t like each other at first sight, though…
And it’s been – interesting. We’ve grown a lot.
This scene is delicious and poignant, and I, too, am thinking of it in terms of my own writing, and those two characters who telepathically “fell in love” (although neither of them call it that), as children, very quickly, and then spend decades trying to find one another in the physical sense.
I want much, much more of this! =D
June 18th, 2013 at 7:45 am
You’re right, by “stay in school” I always think “get an education,” which your kids are certainly doing. That’s just the advice that people always give kids. 🙂
Marriage is a strange things, isn’t it? I can’t say we’ve been through the same things you have, but there have been some times that strained our vows almost the breaking point. Definitely a growth experience for both of us! I don’t think it’s a bad thing for YA books to explore the tough times in relationships after the first glow of infatuation is over.
Your characters sound really interesting! Great set-up for a love (even if they don’t call it that) story.
June 18th, 2013 at 8:49 am
Oh, yes -learning is like breathing here, for all of us. We do it all the time, and quite naturally…
I will agree that marriage is strange – and mostly wonderful.
No too are alike, and every one has its challenges, and hopefully ample joys to offset that.
My husband is one of the funniest guys I know. He is kind and respectful to the children, he thinks my crows feet are sexy, and he likes when I sing.
He has a blue beard. He values what I do here, and doesn’t ask me to work away from home.
And he puts up with my nocturnal tendencies, and my fascination with Spock….(yes, he knows!).
I would say that YA books that don’t explore the scope of relationships are doing a disservice to their audience. I wonder how many more marriages would be made well, and thrive, if our focus as a culture was more on the journey of a relationship than that crazy flush at the beginning…?
My characters are indeed most interesting …sometimes, they won’t even let me sleep! =)
(If you get this comment several times, it was probably due to operator error!)
June 18th, 2013 at 9:32 am
Nope, just got it once. 🙂
I think that about weddings, too. Our culture places this ridiculous emphasis on this one day, and women OBSESS over it: the perfect dress, the perfect decorations, the guests, the food, the music. I know teenage girls with huge pinterest boards dedicated to weddings.
Yes, a big wedding can be lovely, but a) it’s not worth pulling your hair out over, and b) it’s ONE DAY. It’s what comes after that’s important, and rewarding, and worth having. So many people seem to forget that, and then we wonder why celebrities have multi-million dollar weddings and then get divorced a few months later.
October 23rd, 2013 at 8:42 am
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